13 February, 2023
Steggall urges PM to make good on his pre-election promises and stop PEP11
Today, Zali Steggall MP will reintroduce her Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage (Stop PEP 11 and Protect Our Coast) Private Members Bill, now that the Petroleum Exploration Permit 11 (PEP 11) application, which covers 4,500 square kilometres of ocean along NSW’s east coast from North Head National Park in Manly, through the central coast and as far as Newcastle, is destined to be reconsidered. Dr Sophie Scamps, Member for Mackellar will second the motion.
When the Bill was first introduced in Nov 2021, Prime Minister Albanese, then in Opposition, stated: “We stood at Terrigal and made it very clear that we were opposed to PEP-11. That was a process that went through our processes of shadow cabinet and through our caucus unanimously because this is a bad proposal.”
Speaking about the Morrison Government, Prime Minister Albanese said: “The truth is that the people of the northern beaches have been abandoned by this government. The people of the Central Coast have been abandoned by this government. The people of Newcastle and the Hunter have been abandoned by this government. The people of Sydney around the Kingsford Smith and, indeed, Wentworth electorates have been abandoned by this government as well.”
Steggall said: The question now is, will the Albanese Government abandon our communities or Stop PEP 11 once and for all by supporting my Bill?
Steggall said the key advantage to her Bill is that it provides a fast and simple resolution of this issue, warning that questions around the PEP 11 permit may continue for a matter of years. She explained that even with court proceedings wrapping up, it will still be some time before the application can be reconsidered. And even then, assuming a decision to cancel the permit stands, the decision could be open to further legal challenges.
“It’s far better to legislate, because this will ensure that no future applications, for any reason, can be granted by the Joint Authority or Titles Administrator for the area covered by PEP11,” she said.
Without changes to the legislation, the Joint Authority’s decision could be subject to further review or challenge, questions around bias of decisions would remain given previous statements made by the Prime Minister and members of Government, and it does not rule out future applications being lodged for the PEP11 area.
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